Footfall was down 44.7% in March. High street stores without eCommerce operations saw sales collapse. Primark, for instance, saw its monthly sales of £650m a month evaporate. 
And whilst eCommerce retailers have the advantage of being able to maintain online sales, it’s evident that even those retailers are scrambling to adopt new business models and maintain business continuity. As a measure of how difficult it is to keep operations going, consider that Debenhams has fallen into administration, Cath Kidston has permanently shut up shop and Next and many others had to temporarily at least close their online operations altogether.
One positive sign amidst the turmoil: shopping habits remain healthy with global data showing online sales up 46% since just before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic and stay-at-home orders began rolling out. The rise in online sales has been so significant, in fact, that the ongoing shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping has been accelerated by a year or two because of the pandemic.
While it’s too early to predict how much of the growth in online spending will persist after the pandemic ends, the growth is certain to outstrip the 16.1% global growth rate that eMarketer predicted for 2020.
No doubt retailers are buoyed by seeing more consumers — and more new customers — heading online. But the rapid shift in shopping channels comes with challenges, including holiday-like order volumes, supply chain disruptions and the need to continue operating with employees working from home.
Unlike the holiday season, of course, the COVID-19 induced changes and challenges came with very little warning or time to prepare. The combination of a spike in online orders and the reality of a dispersed workforce create specific difficulties when it comes to reviewing online orders for fraud and protecting the business from consumer abuse.
Retailers that rely heavily

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